Mel Brown had just gotten the hang of telling junior identical twins Saran and Anika Hall apart. It’s a process he will have to go through all over again this season. The Cardinal Spellman girls soccer coach added a new set of identical twins in Victoria and Christina Quinones, both sophomores.
“I do get them confused sometimes,” Brown said. “I’ll call Christina, Victoria or Victoria, Christina because they are new. Anika and Saran I can actually tell the difference because it is their second year.”
There will be a lot of new faces for a Spellman team that lost nine seniors from a squad that went undefeated during the CHSAA Bronx/Westchester regular season, but lost to Maria Regina, 1-0, in the final.
“We are in a rebuilding process,” Brown said.
The Pilots do return Taylor Addison, their leading scorer from a year ago. The team’s offense, including junior forward Shannon Molloy and midfielders Nasya Sandy, Nicole Arcenal, Christina Quinones and Saran Hall should be their biggest strength. Brown is counting on Molloy, who is aggressive and excellent making runs off the ball, to be the biggest help to Addison.
Seniors Victoria Catuogno and Ashley Eustache will lead a strong Spellman defense along with Anika Hall, Victoria Quinones and Kristen Crew. Goalkeeper was a weakness a season ago, but backup Elizabeth Treanor, a sophomore, has looked solid so far in net during her first season as a starter, Brown said.
Sophomore goalkeeper Nora Kilkenny, in her second season in net, will lead a strong Preston defense for first-year head coach Mario Marcellino. The Panthers will have to overcome the loss of senior defender Sarah Higgins, who broke her foot in the team’s opening game , but will have junior sweeper Michele Lawless. Center midfielder Eleni Katechis is excellent at running down would be goal scorers.
The Panthers lost seven starters from last year’s team, but have just two this season, which is seen as a building year for a young core. Marcellino believes building chemistry early will be most important thing early and for the future.
Senior Alexis Sassone will lead an offense with plenty of speed. Junior midfielder Heather Lynch will be looked at to provide offense with Kitty Lajqi, a sophomore.